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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Trump attacks Ron DeSantis for being too liberal on COVID and vaccine mandates

In a scathing rebuke, former President Trump targeted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, mocking him as “Ron DeSanctimonious” and accusing him of attempting to distort the narrative surrounding COVID.
Trump’s sharp criticism of DeSantis comes as no surprise, given the potential competition between the two in the GOP presidential race. Recent polls indicate a tight contest between them, and DeSantis has refused to rule out a challenge to Trump’s leadership.
During his recent campaign tour, Trump took aim at DeSantis, branding him as “disloyal” and claiming credit for his political rise in Florida.
“loyalty has always been paramount for me,” Trump asserted during a visit to New Hampshire, underscoring his stance.
However, attacking DeSantis from the right on COVID-related issues might prove challenging, particularly for Trump, who touted his Operation Warp Speed vaccine initiative as a major achievement during his presidency.
While DeSantis initially implemented restrictions in response to the pandemic, he swiftly shifted gears, emerging as a vocal opponent of COVID lockdowns. He proudly highlights Florida’s efforts to keep its economy open, especially in the tourism sector.
Despite the lifesaving impact of COVID vaccines globally, DeSantis has remained critical of them. He recently advocated for the establishment of a grand jury by the Florida Supreme Court to investigate alleged vaccine-related crimes, a move likely aimed at appeasing the anti-vaccine faction within the Republican base.
Trump’s aggressive stance signals his determination not to cede ground to DeSantis on the right flank of the party. Their rivalry risks exacerbating the GOP’s polarization and alienating moderate and independent voters.
While Trump remains the sole declared GOP presidential candidate, others, including Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, and potential moderate contenders like Chris Christie and Chris Sununu, may enter the fray in the coming months, offering varying visions for the party’s future.

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